Both Parties Highlight Violence Themes at Conventions

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Republicans aren’t the only ones using their convention to tell a tale of a dangerous and violent America. Democrats called the GOP gathering a dark vision full of fear-mongering, but Democrats also used their convention this week to showcase victims of violence and their families, McClatchy Newspapers reports. While both parties agree that violence is a problem, they disagree on the nature of the danger and the solutions. The Democrats’ message was punctuated yesterday with speeches by Felecia Sanders and Polly Sheppard, survivors of the shootings last year at a Charleston, S.C., church that left nine people dead. Tuesday night it was Mothers of the Movement, African-American women who lost sons or daughters to gun violence or after encounters with law enforcement.

“The convention is a grand stage,” said Florida state Sen. Dwight Bullard, a Democratic convention delegate who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders. “It would have been a disservice to the diversity of this crowd not to have these people speak, to have some sort of display.” Speakers at the Republican convention in Cleveland also shared their stories of loved ones lost to violent encounters. In the cases highlighted by the GOP, most of the perpetrators were immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally. The fear of violence also is being used as a fund-raising tool. Democratic officials sent out an email under Sen. Cory Booker’s name yesterday accusing Republicans of “fear-mongering and divisive rhetoric” at their convention and asking for donations ranging from $3 to $100.

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